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India’s largest Floater FPSO Armada Sterling V achieves sail-away readiness

Shapoorji Pallonji's FPSO Armada Sterling V will be deployed in Cluster 2 of ONGC's KG 98/2 block on the east coast of India, ONGC's first deep-water development

  • Designed for continuous operations up to wave heights of over 27 metres
  • Engineered and delivered by a team of Indian engineers and project personnel
  • The design life of 20 years, without the need for dry-docking

Chennai: ShapoorjiPallonji Oil & Gas Pvt Ltd (SPO&G), India’s sole specialist in Floating Production Storage and Offloading Units (FPSOs), has achieved a significant milestone of sail-away readiness for its FPSO Armada Sterling V at Sembcorp Shipyard in Singapore. The FPSO is owned by SPO&G’s 70:30 joint venture with Malaysia’s Bumi Armada group. This is ShapoorjiPallonji’sfourth FPSO and its third FPSO for Indian waters.

FPSO Armada Sterling V will be deployed in Cluster 2 of ONGC’s KG 98/2 block on the east coast of India, which is ONGC’s first deep-water development. ONGC is investing over US $5 billion in this development, which includes an FPSO, a process platform and other facilities. The overall production of Cluster 2 is expected to peak at ~16.5 million standard cubic metres per day of gas and 78,000 barrels per day of crude oil, with the potential to reduce India’s annual import bill by $4.5 billion. At this crucial time, ONGC’s committed efforts to the project’s success will go a long way towards ensuring India’s energy security. The project has provided a valuable deep-water experience to ONGC and will give it enormous confidence to pursue challenging ultra-deepwater developments on India’s east coast.

The FPSO features 13 modules and central pipe racks, weighing over 20,000 tonnes, with a processing capacity of~60,000 of barrels per day of liquids and 3 million standard cubic metres per day of gas. It will be the largest’ floater’ in Indian waters, measuring 321 metres in length and 60 metres in width, with a storage capacity of over 800,000 barrels.

Armada Sterling V is designed for continuous operations up to maximum wave heights of over 27 metres. It is engineered and delivered by a team of Indian engineers and project personnel. It is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning aspects, radar-controlled oil slick monitoring technologies and remote monitoring.

Mr Ravi Shankar, CEO & Director of SP O&G, commented, “In the next decade, the world will need an additional 40 FPSOs, at least 20 Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRUs), and 10 Floating Liquified Natural Gas units (FLNGs). We are well positioned to deliver large projects efficiently with state-of-the-art in-house engineering, project management teams and operations &maintenance capabilities. We have the advantage of the high-quality talent pool that India provides for the offshore industry. The capabilities we have developed will gradually enable Indian shipyards and fabrication entities to transition from conventional shipbuilding to handling technologically advanced vessels.”

Mr AnkitGarg, President – Projects of SP, O&Ginformed that, “We are working towards leveraging the enormous potential of Artificial Intelligence. We equip our FPSOs with AI solutions that allow us to better plan maintenance, thereby ensuring continuous oil and gas production.”

Despite challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions on account of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the ONGC team has stretched to ensure the timely delivery of oil and gas to the nation.

The FPSO is financed by a consortium of Indian banks and the bond market. Mr VenkataSethuraman, President &Chief Financial Officer of SP O&G, thanked lenders for their confidence in ShapoorjiPallonji’s capabilities and for their support of this project, which is critical to India’s energy security.

The Ministry of Manpower of Singapore has awarded this FPSO the prestigious SHARP award for two years in a row, for being the best-performing FPSO project, in terms of safety and health.

The joint ventures of SP O&Gand Bumi Armada group also operate two FPSOs, Armada Sterling and Armada Sterling II, on the west coast of India with one of the best uptimes in the FPSO industry. Both these FPSOs recently achieved the coveted5-star rating from British Safety Council in all three domains, namely, Occupational Health & Safety Management System, Process Safety Management System & Environmental Sustainability Management System. They have also won the prestigious ‘Globe of Honour award from the British Safety Council.